Community needs to rein in vacation rentals
To the editor:
I support both the boards (Lake Placid and North Elba) for addressing the vacation rentals problems, and I hope they keep the three-night minimum in place. I heard a lot of complaints about this subject on Jan. 24. What I heard from were big conglomerates and others that are doing business in residential areas, that this is unfair and that local hospitality businesses don’t have to abide by this rule.
I also believe that the permit to run a vacation rental should not be grandfathered. If a future sale of these residential homes doing business as a vacation rental are put back on the real estate market, then they should have to go through the same procedure that a bed and breakfast would have to do and get a variance from zoning. Zoning doesn’t permit any business in residential areas. It’s residential.
Here are my reasons why:
1. They don’t pay commercial water or sewer.
2. They don’t pay commercial electric rates.
3. They don’t pay commercial real estate taxes.
4. They most likely don’t have commercial liability insurance.
5. Do they pay commercial real estate interest on their mortgages? (I’m guessing most don’t.)
6. Most are not full-time residents and cannot vote in our local elections. (They’re only here for the money on their returns.)
In closing, I am glad to hear both the Lake Placid and North Elba boards on working to establish guidelines on vacation rentals, and I hope they (board members) put out of their hearing range all the noise that is being generated by all the outside influences and do what is best for our community and the voters. These new laws/rules have been in the waiting to address the problems of vacation rentals for the pass 20 to 30 years. The decision rest with our board members to decide if we are a community with actual residents or if we are just a town and village of transient visitors.